Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. ...Hippocrates
Dietary fiber refers to the cell wall components in plants: namely, pectin, beta-glucans, hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, fructans, and gums. Therefore, all foods of plant origin such as vegetables and fruits are sources of dietary fiber. The fiber content and composition, however, varies depending on the plant part harvested for food, fruit or vegetable type, maturity, and the growing environment of the plant.
For good health, the National Cancer Institute and American Diabetes Association recommend daily consumption of high fiber foods. Both agencies suggest daily high dietary fiber intake amounting to 20 – 35 g per day. The USDA 2005 dietary guidelines recommend 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, and a minimum of 1.5 whole grain food servings (for babies of 2 -3 years old) per day to meet our daily dietary fiber requirements. The number of all fiber food servings increases with age. For a person of 9 years and older, the recommended whole grain serving is 3 – 6 per day. Read this list of dietary recommended allowance (RDA) for dietary fiber for all ages.
The following are examples of one dietary fiber servings.
Example 1: One fruit and vegetables fiber servings:
Example 2: Whole grain fiber servings :
Table 1: A list of high fiber food sources and estimates of their fiber content (listed high to low). The chart includes top 50 foods high in fiber content from about 850 food products analysed by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory.
|Dietary fiber food sources||Fiber content (g/100 g edible food portion)|
|Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN Original||29.33|
|Barley, pearled, raw||15.60|
|Oat bran, raw||15.43|
|Wheat flour, whole-grain||12.17|
|Beans, navy, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||10.49|
|Buckwheat flour, whole-groat||10.00|
|Beans, pinto, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||9.01|
|Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||8.72|
|Peas, split, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||8.32|
|Dates, deglet noor||7.98|
|Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||7.88|
|Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||7.62|
|Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||7.40|
|Cornmeal, degermed, enriched, yellow||7.39|
|Cornmeal, whole-grain, yellow||7.30|
|Cornmeal, self-rising, degermed, enriched, yellow||7.10|
|Lima beans, large, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||7.02|
|Beans, great northern, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt||7.01|